Over 350 guests, including honorees Russell Simmons and the Ross School faculty, alumni, parents, television personality Star Jones, and members of the community joined together in the Great Hall on June 7 to celebrate the Eleventh Annual Live @Club Starlight gala.
The benefit, which included live and silent auctions, raised more than half a million dollars for Ross School programs and scholarships, including the Steven J. Ross Scholarship Fund. This past year, Ross School provided financial aid to more than 35% of the student body, and the event will help the School continue to support children and families in the 2014–2015 school year.
The stylish guests arrived for a cocktail hour accompanied by the flash of the news media’s cameras and a rousing welcome from student ambassadors. The crowd browsed the silent auction items and enjoyed musical entertainment provided by alumni Lilly-Anne Merat ’07 and Forrest Gray ’10 before heading inside for a delectable dinner prepared by Chef de Cuisine Liz Dobbs and the Ross Café team.
Ross School alumni Alexandra Fairweather ’08 and Maximilian Eicke ’07 served as masters of ceremonies for the event, welcoming guests and student speakers and sharing their own appreciation of their former teachers and Ross education.
Founder Courtney Sale Ross took the stage to speak about the many contributions of the faculty honorees, the proud history of Ross School, and the School’s legacy of providing a global education to thousands of students. Jennifer Cross, dean of Visual Arts, spoke on behalf of the faculty about the Ross School experience and community; and special guest Russell Simmons addressed the audience about the positive impact an education in the arts has on the lives of children.
Dinner was followed by a live auction led by Christie’s auctioneer Jennifer Wright. Auction items included a seven-night stay at Round Hill Resort in Jamaica; a week at a villa in Chianti, Italy; a New York Knicks Pre-Game Ball Kid Experience; and a chance for a child to be Head of School for a Day.
The guests then hit the dance floor for a concert by Grammy Award–winning artist KC and the Sunshine Band, who performed hits such as “Get Down Tonight” and “Boogie Shoes.” As the evening drew to a close, the guests made their way to their cars, taking with them a catchy tune in their heads and new memories of another beautiful Starlight celebration.
For those in the community unable to attend the gala, bidding for many auction items, including a week at a villa in Chianti, Italy; VIP tickets to Rush Philanthropic Foundation’s 15th Annual Art for Life Benefit in the Hamptons on July 26, and a garden tour with Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa, continues online at http://www.silentauctionpro.com/bidonline.php?groupId=463 and http://www.charitybuzz.com/RossSchool until June 18.
Starlight corporate sponsors included Bridgehampton Florist, Bridgehampton National Bank, BWD Group, Christie’s, GF Capital, John Hummel Builders, the New York Knicks, Russian Standard Vodka, and TimeWarner Corporation